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Discuss the differences between Sunni and Shia perceptions of the imamate

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Discuss the differences between Sunni and Shia perceptions of the imamate The Sunni-Shia split that was first made during the time of the caliphs remains until this day a major split where many people are still dying because of it. The shias emerged after the death of the son of Ali, Husain. After the death of Muawiya, his son succeeded him, this angered the people still loyal to Ali, and Husain was elected as leader by the people of Kufa. Husain was persuaded to come to Kufa where he will find his supporters there and they will fight against Yazid's army. Ali's supporters were "intimidated by the local Umayyad governor"1 and withdrew their support of Husain. At Kerbela, Husain and the people that came with him from Medina were massacred by the army. "Husain refused to surrender, convinced that the sight of the prophet's family on the march in quest for true Islamic values would remind the Ummah of its prime duty"2. ...read more.


Sunni's believe that all humans commit sin, this is a summary of the concept of Caliph in the Sunni view: "As commander of the believers, the military office of the caliph was emphasised. As Imam the caliph could and did lead the religious service and pronounce the Friday sermon...succussion to Muhammad meant succession to the sovereignty of the state. Muhammad as a prophet, as an instrument of revelation, as a messenger of Allah, could have no successor."5 The shia believe that the imam should be part of the family of Ali, "who they hold was nominated by Muhammad as his successor on the basis of a divine ordinance and whose qualifications passed on to his descendants preordained for the high office by Allah"6, the Imam also had spiritual jurisdiction over the ummah. "The symbol of a divinely guided Imam reflected the shii sense of sacred presence"7 There is also the concept of Mujtahids that the Sunnis and shias disagree on. ...read more.


In Shia, a mujtahid can do ijtihad on matters of the faith, the basics and foundations of the faith, he can also make ijtihad on things that are clear and don't need ijtihad. In Sunni, a mujtahid is different, he is like a scholar, he cannot make ijtihad on things in the basics of Islam, or on things that are very clear, he only makes ijtihad on the things that are new to this world and decision haven't been made on them, for example; using the MCCA as a bank, or whether it is Halal to donate your organs, these issues were never discussed before and ijtihad can be made on them. 1 Armstrong.K, Islam A Short History, pg 37 2 Ibid 3 Hitti.P, History of the Arabs, pg 190 4 Ibid pg 440 5 Ibid pg 185 6 Ibid 7 Armstrong.K, Islam A Short History, pg 57 8 Hitti.P, History of the Arabs pg 441 9 Ibid 10 Armstrong.K Islam A Short History, pg 173 11 Ibid pg 172 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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